Barbara Sanders Barbara has proudly represented the Doe Fund’s kitchen for 10 years as the only woman in Culinary Arts. The kitchen may be a boys club at The Doe Fund but Barbara run’s the show at our Gate’s Avenue location where she leads by example through her exemplary work ethic. Juggling two full time jobs, Barbara is truly the definition of possessing a strong work ethic and proves every day that work works. Her passion and dedication to food services is outstanding and while others may find such a busy schedule exhaustive, Barbara finds it’s invigorating and purposeful. Barbara has been working side by side with Gino Dalesandro, the Director of Food Services for 20 years now. This dynamic duo brought the department into fruition and is the heart and soul of The Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts family. Barbara’s continued dedication to The Doe Fund and food services is truly special and her hard work, dedication and leadership make her an invaluable part of our team.
Teamwork makes the dream work in The Doe Fund kitchen!
Richard Harkley Richard has been with The Doe Fund for 6 years. He graduated from Ready Wiling & Able in 2009 and after leaving the organization to take the next step in his career, returned to our kitchen to continue his culinary journey where it all began. He decided to return because he wanted to give back to the people who changed his life and help make a difference for the future chefs enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at The Doe Fund. Now working as a Chef at our Harlem Facility, Richard truly is the definition of Doe Fund for life. For Richard, The Doe Fund is not just his employer, it is the place that gave him a second chance at the life he wanted and deserved. Richie couldn’t have imagined working as a chef before The Doe Fund and is grateful for all of the experiences, skills, and values he picked up here. Most of all, The Doe Fund helped instill Richie with a sense of confidence, determination, and faith in both himself and future. Richie truly thrives in the kitchen and continues to make a huge impact on our program as both a role model and leader in the culinary arts.
Lovie Arthur For more than two years, Lovie has been working hand in hand with The Doe Fund’s Director of Food Service, Gino Delasandro, and the rest of the kitchen staff to book and oversee all catering events. She is also the author behind our beloved food blog Dishes by Doe. Lovie is studying toward a Masters in Marketing at Baruch College which she hopes will allow her to further market our Culinary Arts program and the many new and exciting endeavors we are currently embarking on!
Eric Smith- Head Baker at Harlem Facility Eric has been working with The Doe Fund for over 5 years. During that time he has excelled in many roles. He is currently the head baker at our Harlem facility. He helps coordinate the culinary classes as well as mentor the men as they prepare for the food industry. Eric is definitely another success story- before entering The Doe Fund, he never baked a day in his life. He’s taken full advantage of the program and has thankfully found his love for baking! Look out for Eric as he will be attending advanced baking courses at The Culinary Institute of America where he will ultimately bring his skills back to the organization so he can further teach the men in blue!
Lorenzo Aponte- Friend of Food Service Aponte is a true friend which is why we’ve decided to highlight him for our “Friends of Food Service.” He was a trainee at our Porter location back in 2004 and his first assignment was to help us in the kitchen before he was ready to go into the field. He was ready and willing to do whatever was needed, in which case was washing pots most of the time. After his first 30 days passed, he went to the field and pushed the bucket. After a long day of working and cleaning the streets of Manhattan, he would volunteer to help us clean up after dinner. He was an honorary member of our team. He graduated in 2005 and became a staff driver where his journey continued. Since becoming a staff member, he has had many titles: CIP Driver, Recruiter, Training Coordinator and now a Job Developer where he recruits trainees for all of our training programs. He always makes sure the top candidates find their way to our Culinary Arts program. He is a true friend who works tirelessly to help these men find full time jobs. We will forever be indebted to Aponte for his hard work and dedication to not only the culinary arts department but to all of the men he has helped since entering The Doe Fund.
Candid Shots Everyone thinks we’re talking about food but we’re really discussing laundry!!! (W. Crafton, R. Harkley, G. Dalesandro, K. Smith)
Marcell Chambers- Chef Instructor at Philadelphia When Marcell came to us here at The Doe Fund, he was 23 years young and not sure which direction to head in life. He started working in our culinary arts department and quickly fell in love with the feeling that every chef becomes familiar with- the love of the kitchen. Marcell went full force once he realized his passion was cooking- taking courses at The Culinary Institute of America as well as becoming a proctor for the ServSafe National certification. He soon became a well-respected chef that all of our staff aspired to become and the leader that he was always meant to be. Now at the age of 30, he has grown both professionally and personally, becoming a wonderful husband and father. His willingness to take chances with cooking and try new things has made him the “go to guy” when we prepare menus and/or cater special events. Marcell is the creative force behind our food service department and we thank the day he found his calling in the culinary field.
Eric Wright- Chef at A Better Place For the last 9 years, Eric has been the chef at our A Better Place location which houses residences living with HIV and Aids. His kindness and compassion is evident everyday which is why the residents always feel at home while he prepares their meals. Over the years, he has become one of Harriet’s favorite chefs! Both George and Harriet trust that Eric will take care of the residents and he has never let them down. His love for the residents is shown through his passion for cooking and we are happy that he has and will remain an intricate part of The Doe Fund.
James Pearson- Harlem Head Chef James has been working with The Doe Fund since 2002. He is the head chef at our Harlem facility and is the cornerstone of our food service department. Along with being a great chef, he is also our lead instructor for our baking/cooking classes. These classes are part of our training curriculum and are one of the most important parts of our food service program. Every trainee that goes through our training program will cross paths with James. This is important because he has the unique ability to combine spirituality and culinary techniques into each cooking class. James’ uncanny ability to help both trainees and staff to grow within the culinary field has left a reputable mark in each of their lives.
Kenneth Smith- PJS Head Chef Kenneth was hired back in 2004 after he graduated our criminal justice program. His first position was a food handler at our Gates facility. He has worked his way up to head chef at our largest facility, Peter J. Sharp, where we serve 400 meals/3 times a day. He supervises a staff of 24 trainees and 6 staff members. Kenneth’s tireless efforts have brought us many successes, both with the quality of food we serve and the trainees he prepares for jobs in the food service industry. Last year, 16 trainees found full time employment in the food service industry. Kenneth’s guidance along with each trainees’ determination has been a great formula for success.
Men at work Nothing feels as good as your colleagues and yourself working together to make an event special. Being part of a team has rewards that you cannot receive if you are working alone.
William Crafton-Harlem Lead Cook William Crafton is our lead cook at our Harlem Facility. He was a resident way back in 2000 but once he left the program, he relocated to Atlanta. While in Atlanta, he worked with many top restaurants including Kevin Rathbun’s Steak House, Mims Hotel, and The Hyatt Regency Hotel. He decided to come back to New York and join our team in 2013. William always expresses his joy with preparing our trainees for the job market. He always says, “teaching is a privilege and it is fulfilling to realize that I am making a difference in people’s lives.”
Peter Bessent- Pastry Chef Peter Bessent graduated from our Gates facility in 2010. After graduating, he hit the road and found employment at different eateries around town such as Josephine’s and Veselka. After gaining much needed experience, he returned and is now our Pastry Chef. During the past 3 years, he has gone back to school at Institute of Culinary Education and The Culinary Institute of America. His passion for pastries has ignited many trainees to find their calling.
Kronna Williams- PJS Senior Food Service Coordinator Kronna Williams has been working with us for 8 years and during his time here at The Doe Fund he has served in many capacities. He started as a Food Handler at our smallest facility- Gates avenue and has worked his way to Senior Food service coordinator at our largest facility- Peter J Sharp Center for Opportunity. He oversees the production of 400 meals each evening while supervising a staff of 12. Over the years Kronna has gone back to school many times to increase his knowledge. He recently became a Serve Safe Proctor/ Instructor. He received these credentials from the National Restaurant Association. Over the last year, 46 trainees have received their Serve Safe Certificates; a great achievement for everyone involved. Kronna plays a major role in our training program and over time with his thirst for knowledge, it will only increase.
Daniel Djoro- Pathways Coordinator Danny has been with The Doe Fund for 8 years. He has held many titles but is currently our chef instructor for our Pathways location. For the last 2 years, it is with great pride we can say 69% of the trainees who’ve completed his program have found jobs in the food service industry. This is a great accomplishment for Danny. Most of the trainees in this program have minimum work experience and have spent most of their adult lives in and out of the prison system. Danny is not only an instructor but a mentor for many of the trainees. There comes a time when a trainee realizes he can do it; he can be self-reliant. We call it HOPE. It is the goal we all work towards- most of all Danny.